“Sonic Highways” proves ambitious, revisits roots

Jake Tapley

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Even before I heard “Something From Nothing,” the lead single from Foo Fighters’ new album “Sonic Highways,” I knew this was going to be one of the band’s most ambitious albums to date.

And in many ways, this album lives up to my expectations, giving us a diverse range of sounds and styles blended together to make a unique body of work.

Each song on “Sonic Highways” was recorded in a different city and in a different influential recording studio.

The point, more or less, was to create a concept album that bridges American rock and roll music.

To drive this point home even more, the band even recruited other musicians to accompany them on each track.

From Zac Brown to Gary Clark Jr. to Ben Gibbard, the features on the album are diverse and give the record a lot of character.

“Something From Nothing,” a punchy rock number, is fairly dynamic in its movements for a lead single but works nonetheless.

Its ambition will satisfy fans, while it still feels accessible enough to constitute its radio play.

“Congregation,” has a more roots rock feel to it, which is somewhat reminiscent of the song “Wheels,” which was a single from their greatest hits album.

“What Did I Do / God As My Witness” is one of the more classic rock inspired tracks on “Sonic Highways,” as it functions in two parts.

At this point in the album, I was still enjoying myself but was also beginning to sense where the album was headed.

With only eight songs and a run time of forty-two minutes, it feels as though Foo Fighters were not set out to make an album that was immediately accessible. They weren’t even that interested in making an album that charted new territory.

Though this project has a lot of ambition behind it, I feel that the ambition only serves the band and no one else.

The latter half of “Sonic Highways” begins to feel like we’re on a spiritual journey with lead singer Dave Grohl, where he is revisiting his roots and experiencing the interconnectivity of music.

And though I appreciate everything he’s done and continues to do for rock and roll, this simply isn’t anything to write home about.

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